A Chinese amateur astronomer has captured from the patio of his house the brightness generated by the meteor impact on the moon. It is not something impossible, since these collisions are quite frequent, but it is difficult to achieve it with a relatively homemade team. For this reason, their images have gone around the world and they already have many experts behind them, to investigate further. the rock and the impact crater that it must have left on the lunar surface.
It should be noted that both the Earth and the Moon are surrounded by rocks that can eventually impact with them in the form of meteorites. But there is a big difference. Earth has a atmosphere which usually pulverizes those rocks so that they either break down completely or come to the surface as extremely small fragments. In contrast, the Moon has no atmosphere and meteorites collide with its surface in all their splendor. There is more to see the selenite terrain, completely covered by impact craters.
According to a project carried out by the European Space Agency (ESA), they normally fall about 8 meteors per hour on the Moon. This is easily detected with the agency’s instruments, but not so easy with a backyard telescope, like the one he used. Daichi Fujii.
The shine of a meteorite on the Moon
Daichi Fujii works at the astronomy area of the Hiratsuka City Museum, China.
He doesn’t work for any big space agency, but he knows enough to look for meteorite impacts on the Moon. He knows that most objects that impact our moon are too small and dark to see with the naked eye. Therefore, what is detected is the brightness of the impact. But it is not easy. You have to be looking at the moon at the right time. In order not to leave everything to chance, the 23 of February Fujii set up equipment that continuously takes pictures during a specific period of time. This allowed him to capture a flash that clearly seemed to correspond to a meteorite impact on the Moon.
Actually, it is not the first to capture, but it does seem to be the most powerful. It lasted a full second and that’s a lot. The astronomer announced what happened on his Twitter account in great detail, drawing the attention of experts and amateurs.
Follow-up images should now be taken
Thanks to vehicles like the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, from NASA, you can take images of any point on the lunar surface. Since the scientists plan to search for the meteorite impact crater captured by Fuji, this could be a good tool.
Only in this way, seeing the crater, will it be possible to have more information about the rock in question, and compare it with the images left by the collision. Although it may have been the result of the work of an amateur, interesting data can be extrapolated from it. For this reason, in astronomy citizen science is also very important. The universe is too big for a few pairs of eyes. The more people notice him, the better.